- Durable, lightweight design
- Good battery life
- 3 free months of Endomondo Premium
- Disappointing sound quality
- Some ear gels not as secure as others
- FM radio quality not improved
- Review Price: £79.99
- Bluetooth 3.0
- Built-in FM radio
- 3 free months Endomondo Premium subscription
- Arm band included
What are the Jabra Sport Wireless Plus?
The Jabra Sport Wireless Plus are wireless Bluetooth headphones aimed at runners and gym-goers who don’t want a cable flailing all over the place when they are getting a sweat on.
The follow-up to the Jabra Sport Wireless
, there’s a built-in FM radio once again, Bluetooth 3.0 connectivity to hook up to a smartphone or MP3 player and they come with 3 months free subscription to Endomondo Premium.
Jabra’s first effort suffered from poor radio reception, disappointing battery life and average sound quality. Jabra has managed to address one out of the three issues and most disappointingly lacks in the audio department.
Jabra Sport Wireless Plus – Design and comfort
The Wireless Plus look identical to the previous headphones, using the same behind-the-ear design with controls built into the arches and ends of the ear hooks. There’s a tangle-free cord that rests on the back of your neck and Jabra has introduced a ‘fit clip’, which is essentially a small piece of plastic to raise the cord away and prevent it from being a nuisance.
In terms of controls, everything is situated on the right ear bud with Play/Pause button, FM radio and volume rocker all into the rubbery material. There’s also an omni-directional microphone to reduce background noise if your treadmill time gets interupted by a call.
In the box you’ll get seven different pairs of ear gels including the ones already squeezed onto the ends of the headphones. They all offer varying levels of comfort and use. Ones with more pronounced hooks help to add security while others produce better noise isolation or help let some ambient noise in if you are running out in busy, built up areas.
You also get a velcro arm band with a pouch leaving enough room to fit an iPod Touch or an iPhone
-sized smartphone comfortably. Anything bigger will simply be a struggle. There’s no way to view the phone screen through the arm band either, so if you like to check your progress you need to take it out of the pouch. Putting on the arm bad in the first place can be a bit of a faff as well.
Like the previous model, the Sport Wireless Plus are durable and feel built to last. Apparently they offer military grade resistance against rain, shock and dust. It was easier to put its rain-proof credentials to the test and we can safely say they do survive a soaking.
Jabra Sport Wireless Plus – Performance
Syncing with your smartphone or MP3 player over Bluetooth is an easy and hassle-free process. Holding the Play/pause button of the Jabra Sport Wireless Plus activates a voice guide to help you get started. Using the Apple iPod touch and Samsung Galaxy Nexus there were no issues connecting or the signal dropping out during use.
They are extremely light to wear and the cord around the back is barely noticeable. Using the fit clip to adjust the cord length is easy to attach and a nice adition. It’s fine without it and the cord is far from irritating. The soft, rubber ear gels also sit snug and with small, medium and large options, should offer a fit for most.
Putting them to the test in the gym and out for a few runs, the Wireless Plus earphones generally do not budge and offer a secure comfortable fit. When things get a little sweatier though, some of the ear gels particularly ones without the hooks can move around and affect the potency of the sound quality.
One of the biggest criticisms of the first Jabra Sport was the battery life. Jabra claims a 7 hours music playback off a single charge improving on the previous 3 hours. Using over a couple of weeks, the battery does live up to its billing and goes a long way before telling us ‘the battery is low’.
Jabra Sport Wireless Plus – Sound quality
Sadly, not much has changed in terms of sound quality. While Jabra promises ‘powerful bass’ and ‘rich audio’, that’s far away from what we experienced. Whether it’s using the built-in FM radio or using an iPod touch or smartphone, audio quality on the whole is lacklustre. It’s far from powerful and it’s a particularly muffled affair even at low volumes. Things don’t really improve at loud volumes either.
The bass lacks any real punch to make it suitable for high tempo music and caps off an largely underwhelming performance.
If you like to zone out to music, the noise isolating ear gels at least do a good job of keeping out noise, however with some of the other ear gels, sound does tend to leak. You really need to make sure you’ve got the right ones fixed on to make anything of the distinctly average sound.
Should I buy the Jabra Sport Wireless Plus?
The Jabra Sport Wireless Plus offer a lightweight, durable design, improved battery life and are comfortable to wear making them ideal for most. It’s the sound quality we really have an issue with. It was one of our main criticisms of the original Jabra Sport headphones and for £80 we were expecting a vastly improved performance. It’s simply not the case though.
No manufacturer has really been able to nail the perfect pair of wireless sports headphones, so Jabra is not alone. If you can overlook Bluetooth connectivity, the Sennheiser/Adidas PX685i are worth trying instead. At £40 they are £30 cheaper and have a lightweight, durable design and crucially offer much more impressive sound.
The Jabra Sports Wireless Plus are a well designed pair of Bluetooth sports headphones really let down by distinctly average sound.
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